ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Crime in the city of St. Louis—is it dropping lower or “out of control?”
Those were two rival views aired at a public hearing at City Hall with the police chief.
Upset residents complained to Police Chief Sam Dotson that crime is up, and when they call police response time is slow.
“It hurts my heart when I hear somebody say that they didn’t get the police response that they expect,” Dotson said. “But I also have to tell you that sometimes we do get busy, and sometimes we are handling a shooting, sometimes we are handling calls for shots fired, and it take us a little bit longer to get to that auto accident or to get that garage burglary.”
Seven minutes is the average response time, he told them.
“I’ve got 1300 police officers,” Dotson said. “I’ve got 20 percent which are high performers, I’ve got 20 percent which are just slugs, and I’ve got the 60 percent in the middle. I’m trying to work on this 60 percent down here which are slugs, but I’m trying to move everybody along.”
Dotson released numbers showing overall crime is down 11 percent this year, but some categories, including murder, are up.
Alderman Antonio French accused the Chief of using crime stats to paint a rosey picture.
“It feels like when we come down to these questions about violent crime in the neighborhoods, the default for both you and the administration is to take this ‘numbers game’ approach, where you argue that it’s not really a problem,” French said.
Chief Dotson responded that specific categories of crime are up, but, overall, crime is down compared to this time last year.